1

Is there a word or expression for a small chat that is about how people are? For having a bit of context, two characters, who meet up almost on a daily basis, ask each other how they are, before talking about more important subjects. I tried to search for a definite answer, but I haven't found anything suitable. As far as I know, small talk might be used, but that includes more subjects, like weather, work and what not. The other one could be stating that they simply had a chat, but that could be again about almost any subject. Catching up would be the most appropriate one I could think of, but that for me seems as if there should me way more time between the two talking to each other than just a few days. For me catching up has always been associated with long time no see type of conversations. The sentence I want the word to use in is:

  • After a small chat about their well-being and James’s shopping list they made their way to the supermarket.

  • I don’t think there’s one specific to well-being. You didn’t ask, but I doubt there’s one specific to shopping lists either. :) – Lawrence Jul 18 at 5:30
  • Thanks for your answer. You might be right. But just to clarify, I am not looking for a synonym for well being but for a word or expression for chatting about how the persons involved in the conversation are. – Anne Kate Jul 18 at 5:39
  • 2
    They exchanged pleasantries – Xanne Jul 18 at 6:00
1

I think the word you're looking for is pleasantries:

[Merriam-Webster]
3 : a polite social remark
// exchanged pleasantries


There is also gossip, but it's something more intentional and focused than just chatting about the weather or traffic.

So:

After exchanging pleasantries about their well-being and James’s shopping list they made their way to the supermarket.

1

For me, you have almost said it yourself: "small talk".

This is conversation between people which is will never offend; "How are you?", "Did you find us OK?", "How was the traffic?".

It often precedes a meeting or even something like a Doctor's appointment, or can be the entire conversation between people who are forced together, maybe in the Doctor's waiting room.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.